Replacing Electric Shower

Discussion in 'Plumbers' Talk' started by Richie Rich, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. Richie Rich

    Richie Rich New Member

    Hi, back for some more excellent advice!

    I've almost finished my bathroom after some really good advice on here, tiling is looking pretty awesome, even if I do say so myself.

    I'm now re-tiling the shower enclosure (last job), I though just take the shower off the wall, tiles off, new tiles on, shower back, job done. On closer inspection, whoever installed the shower fitted it to the wall rather than over the tiles.

    The way I see it, I can either re-tile around the shower and say screw you to whoever needs to replace the shower in the future. Or tile then fit fit the shower, where I will struggle there is lengthening the inlet pipe to the shower, it will need to be 8mm longer to allow for the thickness of the tiles. As an amateur I like good margins to allow for error, this seems a bit too precise for my liking.
    So, I'm guessing I should get a plumber in to extend the pipe while I have the tiles off and everything exposed to make it easier for them? I'm thinking a proper trades-person will know exactly what's required.

    I'm sure that is the obvious solution, I'm just wondering if there is some little trick that I'm missing that means I can easily sort it myself?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. I feel your pain :). How annoying is that!

    Is there no movement in the supply pipe? No back and forth 'wobble'? It wouldn't have to be a full 8mm, 'cos if you look at your olive, you should hopefully find it the best part of 10mm up from the pipe end, so - in theory - you could slide it down, say, 5mm without causing issues. And if you could pull the pipe out 3mm from the wall, jobbie jobbed...

    Failing that the usual solution is to extend the pipe - how much access is there? It would usually be cut back enough and then a Yorkie union soldered on along with a short pipe extension. But this depends on decent access.

    But, you are right, the proper way to do this is to tile first and then fit the shower. But most tilers simply won't touch leccy and water - least not at the same time...

    Any chance of a photo? Keep it under 2MP.
  3. Dave does Gas

    Dave does Gas Well-Known Member

    Your best doing it properly in the first instance. It not a major job to extend the pipe dependant upon how its been installed. Get a pro in and take his advice.
  4. NoOhmToGoTo

    NoOhmToGoTo Active Member

    You'll also find that manufacturer's instructions state that you should fit the shower onto a tiled wall and that you should not tile around it.
  5. Richie Rich

    Richie Rich New Member

    Shower1.jpg shower2.jpg

    Hi Devil's,

    I think I see what you're saying, if I loosen the 90 degree bend olive I could pull it forward a smidge, then hopefully get a little bit extra from pulling the inlet pipe forward too? Could be a plan.

    If there wasn't any soldering involved I wouldn't have a problem extending that pipe, almost wonder if it's time to get a brazing torch and have a go. I'm quite surprised that there is such little margins for error with this kind of thing, makes me nervous.
  6. That whole pipe is 'loose' in that channel for a goodly distance - easy peasy! :)

    Slip a wee spacer behind the pipe to hold it out a further 8mm or so, and glue it in place. Jobbie almost jobbed.

    The only teeny issue is that this might move the elbow end position fractionally - a mm or so - further down, so the screw holes for securing the shower to the wall could be a couple of mm lower than they were. So see if that pipe can also 'lift' upwards that amount.

    If not, see the first elbow on that pipe - the one you can't see - simply undo that nut on the vertical pipe, and tap it upwards a couple of mm before re-tightening.

    This has got to be very doable.

    One issue, tho' - you must ensure these compression fittings are fully tight before tiling over them...
  7. Dave does Gas

    Dave does Gas Well-Known Member

    It will leak guaranteed, and you wont see it leaking until it starts to discolour the ceiling below by which time not only will you have remove the shower and probably some tiles to get to correct the fault you may well also need a new ceiling. The same may well happen if you go with DA's bodge method, sorry DA but yours is not the best way to do it with a clear conscience.
    Having looked at the photo it will take a plumber 10 to 15 minuets to extend the pipe, you could then do the tiling and he returns to complete the instalaion. Most would only charge you an hours labour at the most and maybe a few pence materials.
    I cant see the suposed elbow behind the compression elbow but the socket further down looks like a Prestex fitting which is where I would cut and renew from there if it was my job.
  8. DIYDave.

    DIYDave. Well-Known Member

    When you say one option is to fit shower and tile around it, (as it is now) and say ‘screw you’ to the next person who has to change shower -

    Have you considered that next person may be you :eek:

    Don’t know if this is your house or not but leccie showers don’t always have a long life span - partially dependant on usage and make

    As above, get a plumber in if your not able to extend pipe yourself and do the job properly

    With pipes buried in walls, always good if you can avoid joins, although a pro soldered joint should be as reliable as solid pipe. Also good to wrap pipes before mucking in wall (big mess of silicone from previous install) for a few reasons

    Wrapping in hair felt lagging and gaffer tape is one way. Insulates pipes, stops any noises inside wall from pipe making contact with wall and protects copper from any chemical damage from cement / plaster / etc (possibly)

    After refurbing this room, please don’t lash up the shower instal - makes no sense :)
  9. I totally accept that mine isn't the best way to do it.

    But, a guaranteed leak? Nah :p

    Most pipes extend - what? - virtually a cm in to a compression fitting beyond the olive. If you tap that olive forwards half way, that ain't going to make a practicable difference. A smear of Fernox white - as you would normally - and jobbie jobbed. Then persuade that pipe to lean forward a few mm!

    I totally accept that ain't the 'best way', but if Richie wants to DIY this and is confident with this process, he'll have no greater issues than he would if it were done 'properly'. Once the shower is in place, nuffink is going anywhere.

    We are talking around 8mm in total.
  10. koolpc

    koolpc Well-Known Member

  11. candoabitofmoststuff

    candoabitofmoststuff Active Member

    Does the water inlet for the shower HAVE to enter the unit sideways?
    If that plastic fitting on the shower unit is rotatable so that the water comes in from the back would that not make repositioning easier?

    Maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree here so I'll get me coat!

    Deleted member 33931 likes this.
  12. Ooooh - good thinking.

    I wonder if there is a direct out the back way for that pipe. Or if one could even be drilled...

    If so, Richie could connect up the required elbows and a short length of vertical pipe (making them push-fits to ensure they're unlikely to leak), and then position the shower, fitting that pipe end in to the existing pipe further down the wall channel.

    Och, lots of ways of doing this.

    (Mind you, for 8mm I'd still do it my way... )
  13. Richie Rich

    Richie Rich New Member

    Hi guys, thanks for your replies, always good to hear different opinions.

    Firstly, don't worry, I always intended to do a proper job, or at least attempt to, no tiling around my shower.

    Now, the first elbow at the top of the inlet is soldered, so no give in that one. Possibly in the outward pointing one though. I would be dubious about playing around with that one though as i'd only find out if it leaks or not once the shower is connected back up and the new tiles are in place.
    I do reckon that there might be enough movement in the inlet pipe though to give me the 8mm I need, so that could be my preferred option here, I just worry that again, i'm not going to really know for sure if it fits or not till everything is in place.

    If that first elbow wasn't soldered I think I would have easier options, like the flexi pipe or just making up my own extension, just not sure i'd be able to cut that pipe in the wall as it is. I do wonder if I could use my tiny "cooks" blowtorch to de-solder that joint and replace it with a new compression or push fit elbow, then just make a new 8mm longer pipe to connect to the shower, that sounds easy.

    On the other hand, I'm getting a proper plumber in to fit me a new rad, might just get him to do the job for me while he's here.....but where's the fun in that!
  14. 1st choice - ask the plumber to do it as he'll probably only charge you a relatively small extra since he's already there.

    2nd - slip an 8mm spacer of some sort behind that pipe near the top elbow and see just how easily the pipe moves out. Check it still sits below pre-tiled wall surface level so it won't interfere with the tiling, and if it does then I would personally be confident it'll be fine.

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